Artist rendition of a Oakland A’s Howard Terminal ballpark located at Jack London Square in downtown Oakland which is the A’s first choice to remain in Oakland (image from the San Francisco Chronicle file)
By Jeremiah Salmonson
OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s and the city of Oakland are nearing the final stages of knowing if a new ballpark in Oakland is going to happen. The A’s have been searching for a new home for decades now, and it appears that the future will be determined this summer or fall.
Recently, the biggest hurdle that needs to be cleared by the A’s is a binding vote from the SF Bay Conservation & Development Commission (BCDC). This group has a say in if the land at Howard Terminal can change designations from port use to be developed by the A’s.
This is a step the A’s must clear if the hope of remaining in Oakland is to remain intact. If the commission votes to not change the designation that would signal the end of the A’s in Oakland.
On Thursday, the commission held an eight-hour meeting in which many community members and officials for both the A’s and the city spoke.
A’s president Dave Kaval spoke on many of the issues and features of the project. For the city, mayor Libby Schaff and others spoke about the positive impact of the project and maintained that the port would not be hindered by the project.
The rubber will hit the road on June 30th when the commission will hold the binding vote to either grant or deny the change. They will determine if the A’s leave Oakland or move forward to keep the club in the East Bay.
If the vote fails it is almost certain the A’s will be moving to Las Vegas. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has seemed to green-light the A’s to explore the new location. The A’s have already begun to explore the new location and began looking at sites and negotiating with the city.
A’s fans hope the vote is affirmative for the A’s to continue to move forward with the waterfront ballpark.